Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Sickness of the Mind

My one-time colleague Jesse Walker recently marked the passing of director Sid Davis, a man best known for some of the weirdest 1950s educational films you've probably never seen. There was once a big market, going back to the 1930s, for classroom films that told moral lessons to young people - think Blood on the Pavement and those charming anti-sex films that warned kids about the danger of foolin' around outside the bonds of holy matrimony.

One of his real gems is a little jaunt called "Boys Beware," which broached the topic of balding older men in American sedans who troll public parks for teenage male companionship. Davis uses the film to communicate an important message about the sickness of homosexuality. As the narrator explains, "a homosexual is a person who demands an intimate relationship with members of their own sex." My, those homos are demanding, aren't they?

Sure it starts with a free Coke, a weekend fishing trip and some miniature golf. But before you know it, you're a dead kid with only a newspaper headline to announce what has happened.

"One never knows when the homosexual is about. He may appear normal, and it may be too late to discover that he is mentally ill."


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